The University of the Philippines is the country’s prime mover of academic freedom. It’s where the creams of the crop go as majority would say. I never got the chance to be in UP, and I wonder what it feels like to be there. I may never know, but here are excerpts on what UP students have recorded of their professors’ wit and humor during classes. This may provide us with an idea of what a UP classroom feels like (in case you haven't been there).
My late friend Ray, who took his PhD in UP Los Baños, used to email me a collection of what UP students call ”quotable quotes” from their professors. It doesn’t say where the email originally came from (it was forwarded many times) and I don’t have any means of verification. However just for the fun of it, here are 10 of my favorites from the list. I have enclosed some English translation in brackets [ ] for the sake of our non-Filipino readers.
"Class, next week na lang ung result sa exam nyo [Class, I’ll give the results of your exam next week]. I am having a hard time checking it. I will seek first the divine guidance on what to do about it. Class, don’t worry about your grade. Let me worry about it."
- Sir de Jesus, Envi Sci 1
MA'AM: Many people believe that we, psychology graduates can read minds...
(Silence…). Actually, we can.
CLASS: Weh! Sample.
MA'AM: Right now, you think that I'm bluffin’
- Ma'am Chei Billedo, Psych
"I don't give surprise long exams. All exams are announced. Halimbawa, Class, mageexam tayo, NGAYON NA!" [Example. Class, we’ll have an exam, RIGHT NOW!]
- Ma'am Chei
"Oo, nagpapaulan ako ng uno... baket? aanhin ko ba yun? di naman ako yayaman dun." [Yes, I give perfect grades…why? What will I do with that? I won’t get rich from it]
- Sir Atoy Navarro, Histo I
"Last sem was the first time that I gave a grade of 5, and it felt good!!!"
-Prof Goldie, Comm II, circa 1998, first day of class
Atheist ako, pero pag nasa bahay, nagro rosary kami ng Nanay ko, eh kung magalit sa kin yun. [I’m an atheist, but when I’m at home I pray the Rosary with my Mom, what if she’ll get angry]
- Socio 11 Prof
"Kaya nga ideal eh, hindi siya nangyayari sa totoong buhay [That’s why it’s ideal, it doesn’t happen in real life]. Pero an approximation is good enough"
- Sir Engle, on ideal and real systems
Terror prof after an exam (last day na din ng class..): ok class.. see you next sem!
CLASSMATE: Ma'am, pwede po bang next week na kami mag report? [Ma’am can we do our report next week instead?]
MA'AM: Alam mo [You know], God is good. And I am God. So yes, pwede next week.
Ma'am Vitriolo (2nd to the last meeting)
Okay class, next week, we start the lecture proper.
How about you? Does something like any of these ever happens in your classroom?